Police don’t take well to limits on their power. – Elizabeth Nolan Brown
Hawaii was the last American state to criminalize prostitution; our trade was tolerated there until 1944, when the police chief of Honolulu, William Gabrielson, closed the brothels in a fit of pique after the whores went on strike against the draconian rules he had imposed on them, and the military officials at Pearl Harbor sided with the whores. A few years later prostitution was officially criminalized as part of the process of obeisance required for the territory to become a state, and since then Hawaii in general, and Honolulu in particular, have tried to make up for the late start by coming up with some of the most grotesque anti-whore shenanigans imaginable.
One example came to light in March of last year. As longtime readers know, cops raping sex workers as part of a “sting” operation is standard operating procedure; it’s frowned upon in some places and tolerated in others, and in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Florida it’s shamelessly defended in court every time a victim of this government-authorized rape complains about it (the usual excuse is that sex workers are “sophisticated” while simultaneously being pathetic, infantile victims). But Hawaii had taken the unusual step of officially granting cops the right to rape sex workers by spelling the permission out in the text of the prostitution law. When a legislator discovered this provision and rewrote the law to scrap it, the cops demanded that their decades-old droit du seigneur remain in place, and the politicians probably would’ve fallen over each other in their haste to lick the cops’ boots had not the media gotten hold of the story and a public outcry not ensued. Of course, reporters misstated the new law as A) granting the cops a new right they hadn’t already enjoyed for a long time, and B) being unique to Hawaii (when in fact the only thing unusual about it was the clear delineation of the raping privilege).
Apparently, being unofficially allowed to rape isn’t enough for Hawaiian cops, though, so they had to come up with a new kind of sadism to inflict upon women. On Monday we were treated to this scintillating example of local-TV journalism:
Honolulu police have arrested more than a dozen women at various massage parlors…It’s…a huge victory for a neighborhood fed up with illegal activity…Sixteen women were arrested ranging in age from 24 to 60…“I feel safer…It’s always good to get crime off the street,” said [a local badgelicker]…They were booked for sex assault, because, as former Honolulu prosecutor Peter Carlisle explained, “the person knowingly exposes themselves to another person under circumstances that is [sic] likely to cause alarm.” This type of of sex assault is a misdemeanor, which could mean a year in jail for the women…
Though Hawaii is as invested in “sex trafficking” hysteria as most states, there’s virtually none of that here (except for an obligatory mention at the very end to justify Homeland Security funds being illegally diverted to enforce local vice laws); this is plain old “lock up the dirty criminals” talk, right down to the asinine characterization of a private room inside a business as a “street” and the warping of normal, peaceful behavior into something “criminal” in the sick minds of cops and prosecutors. Fortunately, most others don’t subscribe to the twisted fantasies of these sociopathic deviants, and the uproar over the ridiculous charges has been considerable; SWOP has a petition asking that the charges be dropped, and attorneys representing the women had this to say:
…The assault charge is because the women allegedly groped the officers. But attorney Myles Breiner, who represents several of the women, said his clients were forced to touch the men after they refused the officers’ solicitations for sex. “To charge (the women) with sex assault in the fourth degree is so ludicrous it’s such an abuse of authority”…a prostitution arrest only requires an agreement on price…Legal experts said this new approach raises legal questions because a solicitation for sex implies consent. “It’s not a sexual assault. It perverts what the whole statute is about”…The charge…is…usually applied when someone is accused of groping another person. [If convicted, the sex workers would]…have their green cards revoked [and would be forced to] register as sex offenders…
Speaking of “ludicrous”, take a look again at the prosecutor’s words in the first blockquote: “the person knowingly exposes themselves to another person under circumstances that is [sic] likely to cause alarm“. The idea that a cop out to entrap a massage parlor worker would be “alarmed” at the sight of her genitals is too absurd even for a Monty Python sketch, but the charge takes on a darker (and larger) significance when one reads the rest of the sentence the prosecutor (mis)quotes, quoted (correctly) here by Elizabeth N. Brown: “…likely to alarm the other person or put the other person in fear of bodily injury.” What’s that cops always claim when they murder a dog or human, or tase a 5-year-old, a pregnant woman or an old man in a wheelchair? Oh yeah, “I was in fear for my life.” Is this the next step in American cops’ unending escalation of force? It’s only one step from a cop claiming a woman half his size put him “in fear of bodily injury” from the sight of her pussy, to tasing her or gunning her down using the same excuse. “Aloha” can mean either “hello” or “goodbye”; though Hawaiian cops intend it to be the former for this new and horrifying anti-whore tactic, sex worker activists and our allies need to make absolutely sure it’s the latter.